Photo: Chaunte Vaughn

Santa’s coming to town in just a few short weeks, so obviously we have to get our nails Christmas ready. In years past, we’ve just popped on some red or green polish, but this season, we want to step up our holiday spirit. To take things to the next level, we’re bringing you a Mani Monday tutorial (check out our series on Instagram!) that’s so good, even Scrooge will be obsessed. Ahead, find a step-by-step guide to creating the ultimate Santa hat accent nail


STEP #1: Apply a Base Coat 


Nothing puts us in a jolly mood quite like the perfect red. After applying Essie Here to Stay Base Coat, polish your nails with Essie Fishnet Stockings. Try and make your strokes as even as possible. The color is pretty opaque, so you shouldn’t need more than one coat. Make sure to leave your ring finger polish-free — it’s going to be your accent nail. 

 

STEP #2: Draw a French Tip 


Switch your focus to the accent nail and paint on a French tip with the red polish. You can free-hand the tip with the nail polish brush — it doesn’t have to be a flawless stroke, you’ll be smudging the base later. 

 

STEP #3: Don’t Forget the Hat! 


Now it’s time to really amp up the artistry. Swap out your nail polish brush for a detail brush. Dip it into the polish and wipe any excess or clumps off on the side of the bottle so you have a very thin, light coating. Draw an upside-down triangle on one side of your nail. You should start your downward slant just off-center. The tip of the triangle should almost touch your cuticle. Once you’re happy with the shape, fill in the clear space with your polish. Make sure that it dries completely before moving on. 

 

STEP #4: Snowy Accents 


Using Essie Blanc, lightly dab the bottom of the triangle to create a white pom-pom. Using the same detail brush, create compact dots along the base of your french tip. This will look like the white fur that lines Santa’s hat. Have fun with it  — it can be a little messy. Let your nail art dry completely before applying top coat.



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